SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento Police officers are about to get thousands of dollars just for staying on the job, costing the city more than $1 million.
The one-time payments are aimed at stopping officers from leaving in the next three months.
The Sacramento City Council will vote on the unusual move on Tuesday. While the current contract doesn’t expire until the summer, the city wants to offer cash to keep current cops.
Under the one-time proposal, each sworn police officer will get a one-time, lump-sum payment of $2,150, while sergeants will get $2,000 and dispatchers will get $1,000. The bonuses are expected to cost taxpayers nearly $1.4 million.
Sacramento police union president Timothy Davis sais he’s seeing an exodus of officers.
“We are watching, going out the door every day, decades of experience,” he said. “In 2016 we saw 18 people leave, and in 2016 we saw 20 people leave.”
He says most leave for higher-paying jobs in the suburbs away from police protests.
“It’s hard and it just weighs down on the employees and eventually they get sick of it and they leave and go somewhere else,” he said.
But critics are concerned this could set a precedent that leaves taxpayers with less ammo at the bargaining table. Craig Powell with Eye On Sacramento says more benefits shouldn’t be issued before the new contract bargaining begins.
“By handing out bonuses now, four months before the contract’s up for renewal, throws away the taxpayers’ bargaining chips,” he said.
He’s concerned the move will stretch beyond police negotiations.
“It’s going to set a horrible precedent for other labor unions that are going to be looking for the same sort of one-time goodies,” he said.